Bidders for 4th JNPT terminal still uncertain


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24 Oct 2010

cargo_ship123213_thumb_thumb_thumb.jpgInfrastructure majors like DP World, PSA International, Sterlite Industries, Adani Enterprises and GVK have given bids for setting up a fourth container terminal at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) near Mumbai. But Essar and Lanco Infratech — two other shortlisted bidders — have opted out of the race.

Officials said the two companies kept out of the bidding process due to
an indefinite time lag between the submission and opening of the bids.

The selection of a winning bid is uncertain since there is a court
stricture barring the government from opening the bids. According to a
Supreme Court directive, the government cannot decide on the bid winner
for the fourth terminal, pending a decision on a case filed by the
Danish-based AP Moller-Maersk Group (APM). The company had been barred
from participation in the second round of bidding.

The shipping ministry was hoping to award the contract for the fourth
container terminal, with a massive quay length of two kilometres by the
end of 2010, a senior official in the shipping ministry said. This is
the second time the terminal had been put up for bidding. The first
round of bidding was cancelled by the shipping ministry, as the bid
failed to attract enough participation. APM was disqualified in the
second round due to “security reasons”, said the official.

APM had contested its disqualification in the Bombay High Court, but
after losing the case it had appealed to the Supreme Court last year.
Gateway Terminals, a joint venture of APM Terminals and the Container
Corporation of India, operates the third container terminal at JNPT.

Source: Business Standard


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